It’s actually quite rare for a new president to find a Supreme Court vacancy already waiting. Trump, of course, encountered his good fortune courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unprecedented 10-month refusal to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland. The last time a new president had an inherited vacancy was back in 1881, when the beneficiary was President James Garfield.
With the BLOTUS in the position to fill a large number of openings on the lower federal courts he has the opportunity to reshape the federal judiciary, giving it a backwards looking tilt. Republicans were front and center in decrying judicial activism by liberal judges, but, if conservatives gain control of the federal judicial system be prepared for extreme conservative activism in the federal courts. It is after all, about power, and conservatives know achieving their most cherished goals rest in controlling the federal and state judiciary. That folks, is how backward thinking conservatives and Evangelicals plan to force their agenda down the throats of every American citizen.
But this congressional pocket veto of Garland, a 64-year-old moderate and chief of the influential U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, was simply the most public manifestation of a longer-term strategy. After gaining control of the Senate in 2015, Republicans made it their mission to slow-walk Obama’s nominations for the lower courts. This effort contributed to the relatively large backlog of 107 vacancies on trial and intermediate-appellate courts that Trump inherited. That’s more than what awaited four of Trump’s five immediate predecessors, according to the public-affairs website Ballotpedia. Only President Bill Clinton had more initial vacancies, with 111. By contrast, Obama found only 54 lower-court vacancies when he took office, while President George W. Bush had 84. Trump’s starting batch of 107 represents 12 percent of all 890 federal judicial positions.
Those vacancies, and the ones to come as more judges retire (the number has already jumped to 136 in the six months since inauguration) offer Trump the chance to sculpt the courts to his liking. During the campaign, he said he would “appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia,” a forceful conservative who unexpectedly died in February 2016. Perhaps more than some of his liberal detractors gave him credit for, Trump, 71, understood the importance of the judiciary to Republicans who were reluctant to support him. “If you really like Donald Trump, that’s great, but if you don’t, you have to vote for me anyway,” he said at a rally in Iowa last July. “You know why? Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court judges.”
As a candidate, Trump relied on suggestions from two establishment conservative groups, the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to assemble a list of 21 potential high court picks. Gorsuch was on their list. Now Trump is pulling from the same compilation for his lower-court choices. One example is Allison Eid, whom Trump has nominated for the vacancy created by Gorsuch’s departure from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver. A member of the Colorado Supreme Court, Eid previously served as the state’s solicitor general and as a law clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing elder, Justice Clarence Thomas.
Conservatives applauded Eid’s selection in June, as well as those of 10 other lawyers, judges and scholars. “It’s a fantastic list,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the right-leaning Judicial Crisis Network, said in a post on the National Review’s Bench Memos blog. “Many of the nominees are well-known in the conservative legal movement.”
In case you missed it during the campaign and through all the Trump distractions there it is. The republican/conservative/Evangelical cherished jewel, the one that will give them a shot at turning progress back, is being moved forward by Trump. Something for all liberty loving individuals to be concerned with.
Complete article with graphs BELOW THE FOLD.